Italy, a cultural superpower

Updated 02 June 2012
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Italy, a cultural superpower

The Canadian-American economist John Kenneth Galbraith, to explain the miracle of post war Italian reconstruction, claimed that “the real reason is that Italy has incorporated in its products an essential component of culture, and cities such as Milan, Parma, Florence, Siena, Venice, Rome, Naples and Palermo, while having very poor infrastructure, display in their standard of living a huge amount of beauty”.
This is the source from where the creativity of our production system, based on beauty and harmony, originates. Italian design and the greater part of what is considered beautiful in the world identify with Italian products.
There are certainly other, more ancient civilizations, but surely, no other has steadily produced as much as Italy throughout the centuries. And even in periods of decadence, there were no interruptions in the creative process in all fields; from the visual arts to architecture, engineering, music, literature, cinema, philosophy, law, the political and social sciences, the exact sciences, in contexts that have spread out throughout the world absorbing contributions from other civilizations.
The Etruscan roots, Greek-Roman and Judeo- Christian, the contribution of Islam, the immensity of the Renaissance, have all taken from the world, then elaborated, enriched and returned to the world the highest in knowledge and creation. This ability is typical of the greatest civilizations, although none have done so with such intensity as our peninsula.
Italy is the country that counts the highest number of UNESCO cultural and natural sites (47 in a world list of 936). From the North to the South, all sites - well beyond those surveyed by UNESCO - testify this magnitude. A tremendous responsibility: a great heritage to be preserved. This great historical and artistic heritage makes Italy the first in the world despite its rather limited size - about 60 million people who reside in an area of just 300 thousand square km .
But if culture is well rooted in our past, it is also a pillar of the present, of progress and sustainability. The cultural industry is a significant part of the production of wealth and employment in Italy :
4.9% of GDP ,1,400,000 employees, 400,000 businesses involved. The Italian film production industry is the third in the world. In the last ten years as much as 1207 films have been put on the market. Book industry is also a strong asset: Italy counts a very high number of publishing companies (7,590 in 2010); the De Agostini Group is ranking 10th in the world for sales. Turin, with the “Salone Internazionale del Libro”, hosts the second largest book fair in Europe, the first one since 2006 for the number of visitors.
Not to mention the indirect but powerful (not easily measurable) effect of culture on the promotion in the world of Italy as a top tourist destination. Italy’s heritage draws more than 45 million visitors every year, making tourism our primary industry, accounting for 8.6% of GDP and makes Italy a brand of quality and beauty.
Besides, Italy has been supporting
archaeological, anthropological and ethnological missions abroad for many years. These missions are not only scientific, but are also a valuable tool for training of local operators and provide technology transfer in some sectors, such as archaeology, restoration and protection of cultural heritage, in which Italy has an internationally recognized level of excellence. This activity also represents a commitment to actively contribute to intercultural dialogue and development policies in many countries, even remote areas, where missions are sometimes the only Italian cultural presence.
Italy is second only to China in the export of design products, for a global value of $ 24,802 millions. It is also second (to Germany) for the number of registered patents (2003-2009).


Follow the leader: 6 Arab men making waves on Instagram

Updated 24 April 2018
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Follow the leader: 6 Arab men making waves on Instagram

CAIRO: No longer the realm of social media-savvy women, there are a number of Arab men who are making a name for themselves on Instagram and it's high time you follow them.

Khalid Al-Ameri (@khalidalameri)
Followers: 210k


This hilarious Emirati blogger chronicles his daily adventures with his equally funny wife, Salama Mohamed, as they turn the stereotype of a typical Gulf Arab couple firmly on its head. Al-Ameri acts out skits, posts advice about love and relationships and shares insights on life.

Me and my emotions....

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Daniel Essa (@theparisiangents)
Followers: 4,315


After graduating from ESMOD in France, Syrian-born Essa launched his own label and frequently shares expertly curated advice on men’s grooming, personal style and travel via his social media accounts.


Ahmad Hamdy (@ahmedhamdydesigns)
Followers: 25k


Hamdy started his fashion career at the age of 18 with Calvin Klein. The Egyptian menswear designer is known for his chic and elegant style and fills his feed with slick suits designed by his own brand.

Ahmed El-Sayed (@twistedcurlz)
Followers: 86.8k


El-Sayed is one of the founders of The House of Nomads, one of Dubai’s most innovative fashion brands. He posts sun-kissed photos worthy of an Italian fashion shoot and even starred in a Dolce & Gabbana campaign set in Dubai earlier this year.

Ahmad Daabas (@ahmaddaabas)
Followers: 66.9k


The UAE-based Palestinian fashion blogger is the founder of men’s fashion site AMD Mode and walked the catwalk for Dolce & Gabbana in 2017. He shares hipster-esque snaps from his travels and even offers his pet cat a starring role on his Instagram feed.

STAND TALL @poloralphlauren #ThePoloShirt #PoloRLStyle #PoloRalphLaurenXAhmadDaabas

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Saleh Al-Braik (@salehalbraik)
Followers: 185k


The Emirati blogger shares thought-provoking insights on the trials and tribulations of life and even writes up his own short stories to go with the perfectly captured moments he posts on his feed. You can expect travel shots, adorable family photos and a razor-sharp dress sense.

BETRAYAL ⠀ ⠀ I have been told that I am loved to my face, only to be stabbed in the back by that same person. The thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies. It’s a different form of pain, one that rocks you to your core. You meet someone and fall in love with their soul, whether it’s a friendship or relationship, your spirits connect. It then comes completely out of the blue, where you find out that they have betrayed you. They broke a promise, they cheated on you, then lied to you, they talked about you, or worse, they hid things from you. Ask my family and friends, I would never use the term “hate” to another person. I feel that the word alone leaves a heavy load on my heart. However, when it comes to betrayal, it’s something that can poison even the purest of hearts. ⠀ ⠀ I would love to tell you how to avoid it, but this is something you will never be able to avoid. As I grew older, I realized that I got better at picking those with loyalty, but it is never certain. The trauma left from betrayal can last for years. I do my best not to focus on it, but it is scary to think that I have become completely vulnerable in front of my inner circle. The same vulnerability and trust that I gave to those that came before them. Those that have scarred me. It is probably my greatest fear, and here I am exposing it. The only thing I can give you advice on is to surrender to it. You can never determine your future. You can just allow your heart to love and trust. Be vulnerable, and if it ends badly, then so be it. You can’t control people, you can’t force them to be loyal. But what you can do is control yourself. You can have standards. You can refuse to be lied to or cheated on over and over again. You can forget them. You can CHOOSE to move on. ⠀ ⠀

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